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Conventional and recommended arc power and energy calculations and arc damage assessment

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2 Author(s)

The costs associated with fires initiated by arcing faults depend on the extent of the damage. In some cases, costs have exceeded $100 000 000. The personal losses associated with a serious injury or fatality are incalculable. When an arcing fault occurs, qualified in-house personnel and/or professional consultants try to determine the factors involved in the fault's initiation. Investigators also serve as expert witnesses in any pending lawsuits related to the accident. In fact, the growing interest in accident investigation has led to the establishment of an IEEE workgroup in forensics. Even with sophisticated techniques like scanning electron microscopes used to provide magnified photographs of arc damage, only a limited amount of applicable technical information on arcing faults exists for reference. Much of the engineering reference information on calculating arc currents and assessing arc damage is 25-50 years old. Recent papers by the authors discussed calculating arc currents. This paper presents a method to determine the power released by a single-phase-to-ground arc and provides graphs for quick reference. Commonly used methods for calculating arc power and energy and quantifying damage are also discussed. The recommended and conventional methods are used to determine arc energy and to identify the damage threshold in a typical system and the results are compared.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 3 )